Immigrant Inclusion & Civic Participation

Drawing upon our history of passing AB 60 drivers’ licenses for undocumented Californians, jumpstarting the One California program—that has provided legal services and support to millions of immigrants and their families since its inception—and other immigrant inclusive programs, CIPC has continued to work towards creating a more equitable state by ensuring every member of our community can fully participate and engage.

One California

In 2015, CIPC, alongside a coalition of state immigration legal services and advocacy organizations, successfully established the “One California” program. The One California program, administered through the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), provides annual grants to immigrant-serving legal services programs for low-wage and indigent immigrants. It was established and included in the 2015-2016 California state budget for organizations throughout the state to provide education, outreach, and legal services to immigrants and their families whom are in need of deportation defense and/or are eligible for affirmative relief, such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) or U.S. citizenship.

Since 2015, the One California program —and ensuing network—has grown into a well-established program with $45 million of annual General Fund budget allocations, plus additional funding for pilot projects. The program started out funding over 60 eligible nonprofit and community-based organizations; today, this number has grown to over 120 organizations serving immigrants statewide.

Budget History and Legislative Wins:

Over the last several years, “One California” has incrementally expanded to fund all services needed to provide holistic care for immigrant clients. The program launched in 2015 with $15M in one-time funds for Immigration Affirmative Relief services, and gradually added new components: removal defense services, regional capacity funding, rapid response services, pilot capacity building projects, and additional funding needed for services responding to the federal immigration landscape. It has grown into a permanent item in the state budget, receiving $45M in dedicated funding each year. Below is a summary of the program’s funding and growth: 

  • 2015-2016: One California budget initiative is enacted with a funding level of $15M in one-time funds.
  • 2016 – 2017: One California becomes a $30M one-time fund investment.
  • 2017 – 2018: One California grows to a $45M investment and representation for deportation proceedings (Removal Defense) and legal training (Legal Training/Technical Assistance) are added to the scope of services, along with $20M in additional one-time funds to support DACA service provision.
  • 2018 – 2019: One California becomes a $45M ongoing investment and receives an additional $10M for the California State Universities (CSUs) and Universities of California (UCs) to provide legal services, as well as receives an additional $5M to support DACA services provision. A total of $65M in funding supports One California. 
  • 2019 – 2020: One California remains funded at $45M plus an additional $10M for the California Community Colleges (CCCs) to provide legal services. Total of $75M funding.
  • 2021 – 2022: One California receives $75M funding: $45M in general and an additional $30M funding allocated for legal services, education and outreach to meet immediate community needs. The Governor also disbursed $25M in additional application fee coverage for DACA and naturalization applications.
  • 2023: This year, with AB 617 (Jones-Sawyer), CIPC and its partners are seeking to AB 617 (Jones-Sawyer) will ensure that all immigrant Californians can access high-quality, holistic immigration legal services through the One California program, regardless of any past interaction with the criminal legal system. AB 617 will remove racist exclusions and systemic barriers so that immigrant Californians have access to legal representation when faced with detention and deportation, or when they need assistance to access benefits, relief, and protections — such as DACA, citizenship, or asylum.

Take Action:

Join CIPC to take action for AB 617 here!

California IDs for All (AB 1766)

In 2022, CIPC, along with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Southern California, CHIRLA, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, successfully worked on the CA IDs 4 All bill (AB 1766). AB 1766 will make available state-issued identification (ID) cards to all Californians, regardless of immigration status, by July 1, 2027. IDs are needed for many aspects of everyday life, from accessing critical health benefits to renting an apartment. California residents without access to a car or who are unable to take a driver’s test will benefit most from this bill; including women, elderly, individuals with disabilities, and people who were formerly incarcerated. 

Read our most recent press release after the passage of AB 1766 from 2022 here.



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